Show jumping superstars Laura Kraut and Cedric jumped to the top of an exciting competition last Sunday afternoon in the $125,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Held at Donald Trump’s scenic Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, the third annual event featured international show jumping at its best, with top finishes for Kraut, Darragh Kenny and Brianne Goutal.
Anthony D’Ambrosio set the course, which featured 35 horses and riders. The course saw 13 clear rounds, leading to an exciting jump-off with seven double-clear entries.
Callan Solem and the Torlando Group’s VDL Torlando were the first pair to clear the jump-off course without fault and finished seventh in 43.10 seconds. Alexander Zetterman and his own Flecu were faster in 41.83 seconds to place sixth. Margie Engle and Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek and Gladewinds’ Indigo took the lead in 40.74 seconds to eventually place fourth, and Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla followed with the fifth place round in 41.48 seconds.
The final four riders were some of the fastest in the world and fought hard for a win in the prestigious competition where the option of a very tight inside turn and a gallop to the final fence was the final deciding factor. Kenny made that turn with Oakland Venture LLC’s Fantasy and was fast and clear in 40.12 seconds to take over the lead from Engle, but he eventually settled for second place. Goutal and Remarkable Farms LP’s Ballade van het Indihof were next, and did their best to catch the pair. They stopped the clock in 40.62 seconds to take third place.
Back-to-back Trump Invitational winner Kent Farrington returned to defend his title. Farrington opted for a very fast outside turn to the last fence with Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel and slipped in the turn, then had a rail down at the final jump. The pair’s time of 36.31 seconds would have given Farrington his third straight win in the competition, but the unfortunate rail put them in ninth place. Last to go, Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric took the inside turn and came through the timers in 39.96 seconds to earn a big win.
Kraut and Cedric, a 17-year-old Holsteiner gelding, have had a long and illustrious partnership that includes team gold in the 2008 Olympic Games and many grand prix victories over the years.
“I could not be more pleased with him,” Kraut said. “He is 17 years old, but he feels better than ever. He won his last outing a month ago out in Wellington, and he has hardly jumped a fence until today… I thought this would be a good event for him. I targeted him for this, and he came through.”
Following a great win and a beautiful day, Kraut praised Donald Trump and Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo for putting on a fantastic event.
Bellissimo was very pleased with how the event went off. “It was another great event. The weather could not have been more spectacular,” he said. “I think this event has really grown in stature. Donald has been an amazing partner in this effort, and we have had a number of conversations about how we can take this to the next level.”
Trump also praised the winner and was thrilled with another great event. “I want to congratulate the great champions,” he said. “I know Laura really wanted to win this, and now she has done it.”
Net proceeds from the Trump Invitational benefit the 2015 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments, which will be held at the PBIEC on Saturday, Feb. 7. In addition to 28 charities already selected to participate in this year’s competition, four more were selected during Sunday’s event, including CROS Ministries, Take Stock in Children, Gratitude House and Leadership Palm Beach County.
ABOVE: Laura Kraut aboard Cedric.